Holiday rantings

So much for me posting more regularly …what nonsense! I do have an excuse though, we have been away overseas for the past month seeing family, friends and bloggers!

Trust me, I’m no travel writer so I seriously hope that I won’t bore you with my holiday rantings.

Arriving at Heathrow airport at a sensible hour and not terribly jet-lagged, we headed to Croxley Green in Watford to stay with hubby’s Dad Bill.

For those of you that follow Frog Pond Farm you will be well versed in Bill’s expertise in the kitchen. I knew we would be assured of some excellent tucker and I wasn’t disappointed, we were spoilt with pan seared NZ venison, home made jus, baby spuds and crisp asparagus, need I say more?

Grand Union Canal, Croxley Green

Pigeons under bridge

A few days rest and then we were off to Witney in Oxfordshire to catch up with the beautiful Veronica who writes the blog Veronica Roth common magic.

Thames Whitney

Thames, Witney – iPhone

Living in Vancouver but spending time in the UK with her partner Robert, it was perfect that she would be visiting at the same time as we were. A catch up at the Rose Revived, a wonderful old restored pub that sits on the banks of the Thames was in order. The fish and chips were nearly as good as the riverside setting and we chatted away like long lost friends. It was a day to be remembered. Veronica is an amazing artist and gave me a wonderful painting! Thank you …

North Essex


Crete was next on the travel itinerary and as we were flying out of Stansted airport, I had arranged to meet with another blogger who just happens to live close by in Braintree. Anne who writes Slamseys Journal and her hubby Bill were great hosts showing us their North Essex farm and after enjoying another pub meal and some interesting banter, drove us through the beautiful countryside to our hotel. Thank you so much we really enjoyed the catch up!


Countryside Braintree 

Stanstead Airport

Stansted Airport – iPhone magic

Chania portside – iPhone

Hubby’s Uncle Roy and Aunt Ruth have lived in Gavalochori Crete for many years and so our visit was long overdue. Roy kindly organised accommodation for us in a neighbour’s home the property boasting a swimming pool and vistas of rolling hills and distant mountains. Daytime temps were around 34 C so the pool was much needed, while nights were a more acceptable 21 C, but trust me a bedside fan is imperative.

Taverna dining

Hubby and Phil … another meal – iPhone

Joined by great friends from the UK, our week in Crete not only included some amazing traditional food and coffee, but the beer was perfect to quench a thirst after a hike through one of the many beautiful island gorges.

Agia Irini Gorge – Hubby, Frances and Phil

Agia Irini Gorge

Imbros Gorge – iPhone

Walking the picturesque Imbros Gorge in Chania, which is approx. 7 km long, with the temp being in the vicinity of 40 C felt much like falling out of a tumble drier as we exited at the other end. I remember the view of the Libyan sea as we clambered into the car where Roy and Ruth had been patiently waiting. A swim and lunch at a seaside taverna was on the agenda.

Chania, iPhone

Chania, iPhone

Chania has a beautiful old harbour-side town which boasts cafes and tavernas, ancient architecture, markets crammed with fresh garden produce, horse drawn carriages and narrow laneways. It is a must to visit, and the shopping looked fab, although Frances and I didn’t get to enjoy it (did we 😉 ).


I’m a watermelon fan, these were amazing!

Chania, Crete


I’ll leave you in Crete … but will return again soon





88 thoughts

  1. Your photos are great, I am still working on improving my IPhone photos. What a great trip and being able to visit some fellow bloggers, what fun!

  2. A well deserved holiday for the two of you. Crete an island that I would love to explore more. Great Minoan history and also great connection with New Zealand troops during WW11

    • Hey Ilona .. I think so too! We had a wonderful time. Crete is such an interesting place to visit, and steeped in history. Andrew’s relatives were the most amazing tour guides .. And as I adore Greek food, I was super happy 🙂

  3. Well I said you would do it. Great photos and on the iPad. You should let Apple have them as an advert! It was good to spend time together and it’s getting nearer to my seeing you both again. Well today is back to summer bright sunshine. Jo and co are enjoying Chania but they’ve only got three days left. All for now love to you both. Bill xxxx

    • Mr Bonner .. a very big hello to you! At last, I have done another post. And I will be surprising you with another close on its heels. Pleased that you like my iPhone 😉 photos. Yes looking forward to seeing you again soon and you can tutor me on the best way to cook venison! Much love right back at you xx

  4. So glad you enjoyed Agia Irini a much better walk than Samaria Gorge although not so spectacular it is full of colour and more close to nature. My favourite gorge.

    • Hey Roy and Ruth … a very big hello to you both from NZ. Thank you so much for being the best tour guides and looking after us, greatly appreciated. We enjoyed both gorges and I won’t forget exiting Imbrosa, I think I was melting. Another post to come very soon. 😀

  5. Hi Julie
    Love your rantings and especially your quirky eye which is shining through every photo. It must have been a great trip and hopefully not too tiring. But then again travel is all about exploring and creating wonderful memories to be cherished in years to come. Hope you’ve settled in well back home and winter isn’t too hard on you. Big hug for you both xx PS: Your iphone shots are inspiring! Have to work on mine 😉

    • Hello lovely so nice to hear from you. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed my rantings 🙂 there are more to come! It was a fabulous trip Annette, the weather was just gorgeous. Travel is about exploring and creating memories of which you and George are part of 🙂 Yes we have settled in again and busy gardening .. there is much weeding to do. Big hugs right back at you, I’m glad you like the iPhone pics!

  6. Wonderful to read your travel news and what great photos, Julie. So that’s what you’ve been up to ;)… sounds a lovely time and catch up with family and friends! Looking forward to your next post… really enjoyed this. 😃 ❤

    • Hey Iris so nice to see you here! Glad you liked the travel news and pics .. it’s so nice to be able to share great experiences. Yes I’ve been away 😉 It was terrific catching up with family and friends and making new ones. The next post will be out before you know it 😀

  7. What a great journey and how wonderful to have family and bloggers to visit. Crete looks intriguing- must add it to my wish list. I can’t believe what great photos you took with your iPhone – no need to carry a bulky camera with that quality!

    • Hey Miss how are you? So nice to see you here .. I miss your blog! 🙂 Yes it was a great journey and always fabulous catching up with family and friends. Crete is a great place! The gorges were really amazing. Glad you like the pics with the iPhone – Snapseed is fab for editing.

    • I read your comment and laughed out loud – I know exactly what you mean! In saying that, we were hurrying to catch our plane to Crete and I saw the sunrising, couldn’t resist taking a pic of it! Glad you liked the photos … 😀

    • Hey Anne … the colours in Crete are wonderful. The oleander in the gorges is quite spectacular. And needless to say the colours of the sea are always so enticing. I couldn’t believe the sunrise that morning at Stansted. I whizzed out with the iPhone and was so surprised. Great to meet you both too – would love to see you in NZ!

  8. Beautiful photos, Julie. Now, you’ve made me want to visit Crete.
    It sounds like it was a fabulous holiday with a fair amount of “happy eating”. 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Next time, tell me beforehand before you go on holidays. In all seriousness, it seems I had planned a 3 day long weekend visit to Auckland during the time you were away, but the trip fell through just as I was searching for cheap tickets. Me in Auckland whilst you were in Crete – how ironic! 🙂

    • Oh no, could you imagine that! I just about fell over when I saw your comment. Imagine! I would have been horrified. Right, I shall ensure moving forward that you are aware of my travel plans 😀 I have to say though, Auckland isn’t the most beautiful spot in winter. Spring or autumn is fab! Glad you liked the shots Mr Draco, I’m sure you would enjoy Crete:D Great to see you here as always … And yes, travel for me is always about eating!

    • It was indeed a wonderful holiday. You would have loved the gorges – especially the Irini gorge. Quite steep in parts and it was super hot. There is another gorge which apparently is spectacular, but there are heights involved and I’m not good with the latter. Glad you liked the scenery .. Wow is right. 😀

  9. I still reread my post from that wonderful afternoon. How lucky were we to be in almost the same place at the same time? You absolutely have to come visit me in Van and stay for as long as you like. <3 Looking forward to reading more from your adventure. Crete looks amazing…hot, but amazing.

    • Hey V .. oh we were so lucky weren’t we? The timing couldn’t have been better! I still find it amazing that we caught up .. I would love to come and see you in Vancouver, that would be a real treat!! Another post on the way .. hugs

  10. Hey Julie, what your fellow bloggers don’t know is that you OWNED the gorge. I have never seen someone fly over the rocks like you did. Is that what all the weeding back home prepares you for? As for the shopping, hey, let’s plan it for London Town next time you’re over. Hugs till then, Frances xx

    • Frances .. ha ha I laughed when I read your reply. I do love walking! Mind you, I didn’t run down the gorge like you did Miss! Yes shopping with you next time I’m over. Hugs back at you 😃

  11. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos. It’s so much fun to travel all around the world through the blogging of others.

  12. Oh wow you have no idea how long I’ve been here gaping at your photographs!! Oh, Julie! Greece is one of the places I do so want to go to see and let me tell you my tongue was hanging out! Your images are fantastic … some of them I’m saying “no way that can be iPhone!”. What a gorgeous well put together post and the pictures OH the pictures gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!! The black and white of hubby and friend I LOVED the way your hubby was looking at you with a clear sparkle to his eyes. That man really LOVES you! And the pics of parts of England too FANTASTIC!! Wow just wow … I honestly don’t have enough words to convey to you how much I enjoyed this post! Thank you so much for putting it all together which I know took you quite some time to do! I really hope you enjoyed your vacation! Man, you deserved it!! Much Love to you! 💝🌹💞

    • Hey Amy oh so good to hear from you! So pleased you liked the photos and the post! 😃 Greece is a wonderful place to visit, pop it on your list! It never ceases to amaze me what great shots can be taken with the iPhone and some tweaking in Snapseed or Lightroom .. perfect. Oh Amy, that handsome man is actually Phil, my hubby is the other guy. I just loved your comment about him and nearly didn’t tell you .. Gosh I’m thrilled you enjoyed this post .. Love right back at you ..

  13. Well, I think of all the excuses for not posting regularly, being overseas is one of the best! I can’t wait to start traveling more. Our plan is to travel around the United States first, then on to destinations overseas. Chania looks like it could be one of my favorites. I love what you’ve showed us so far. Your iPhone photos are great.

    • Oh fab, I think there is nothing better than seeing your own country first. There are a few places in the South Island of NZ that I would love to see .. and will! The US is so vast and so much to see, how exciting. Chania was a real surprise … especially the old town next to the harbour. More pics and rantings to come (I’m working on them right not! LOL). Really pleased you enjoyed the iPhone pics. So did I!

  14. An incredible set of adventures and photos ~ a perfect reason for not posting regularly 🙂 It amazes me how beautiful a photo an iPhone takes ~ of course, your eye for the shot being the key. Wish you a great day ~ and one item that I most enjoyed reading was your prepared meal of “seared NZ venison” as venison is one of my favorites!

    • Randall .. how are you? So nice to see you here. What a wonderful surprise! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the pictures, it never ceases to amaze me either the quality of the images from the iPhone. Ah you like venison? I’m a great fan of venison sausages with homemade chutney. Wishing you a wonderful day … really looking forward to your next post.

  15. How fabulous that you got to meet up with some blogging friends. It should go without saying that you are MORE than welcome to come visit me here smack dab in the Midwest Heartland. Just sayin’…. 🙂

    Wonderful photos too. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Julie I would say you are of the hook for not writing a blog post sometimes we just need to soak up life especially on holidays, enjoy the blogs not going anywhere and it looks like an amazing holiday. Kath

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